Adrian Beltre has always known how to pick his spots.
The supremely talented 31 year-old third baseman has all the tools to be among baseball's elite hitters. However, his maddening career has born a pattern of inconsistency: he only produces to his potential when up for a new contract. This is a reputation that players want nothing to do with, but Beltre has quickly become associated with it based on his career numbers.
As the Los Angeles Angels targeted him this winter in free agency, I watched in horror. Knowing his reputation, I cringed at the idea of throwing a lavish contract (he is a Scott Boras client, after all) at a 31 year-old third baseman. I know how much of an upgrade he would be at third for the Angels, but I'd rather be underwhelmed by an inexpensive third base platoon than be held hostage by a career underachiever.
As the rival Texas Rangers close in on an accord with Beltre, I am elated and relieved that he likely won't be coming to the Big A. Here are three reasons why the Angels were smart to not get his name on the dotted line.